Strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane so late in the season to hit Mexico this weekend

Sandra — the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane so late in the season — will hit the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula and Western Mexico during Thanksgiving weekend.

Sandra is intensifying quickly, and became the strongest hurricane so late in the season on Wednesday November 25th. This rare late-season hurricane, while later weakening quickly, may limp ashore in Los Cabos, Mexico on the early morning hours of Saturday November 28th.


Here is the latest information on Sandra:

  • Location: About 700 miles south of Los Cabos, Mexico
  • Movement: Curling north, then accelerating toward the northeast. Sandra may brush the southern Baja California peninsula near Cabo San Lucas early Saturday, then should move into Sinaloa, Durango or Chihuahua states later this weekend.
  • Intensity: Now strengthening quickly, Sandra is forecast to become a major (Category 3) hurricane on Thursday, which would make it the latest major hurricane on record in the eastern Pacific. It then will weaken quickly after getting caught up in the subtropical jet stream. Sandra may weaken to a tropical storm or depression before brushing Cabo San Lucas, and could be a depression or even remnant before ever making a landfall in mainland Mexico this weekend.
  • Impacts: Despite a later weakening trend, locally heavy rain and flash flooding are possible in the southern Baja California Peninsula as soon as Friday and in the above-mentioned Mexican states where Sandra limps ashore Saturday. Some moisture from Sandra may also pump into a heavy rain event in the southern Plains of the U.S.
  • Rarity: Sandra is the strongest hurricane so late in the season. Only three other eastern Pacific storms have formed later in the calendar than Sandra in records dating to 1949. Hurricane Sandra became the second latest forming hurricane on record, behind Hurricane Winnie in 1983. Furthermore, there is no record of an intact depression or named storm making a landfall on either Baja California or Mexico’s Pacific coast so late in the season.